Monday, August 18, 2014

Why Play Miniature Wargames

I posted this on The Miniatures Page recently, I think some of you may find it interesting.

I play miniature wargames for many reasons. Mostly because it's fun to play the games, fun to collect and build and paint the models. Organizing the vehicles and troops is fun, and so is doing the research. I read a lot about the periods that I wargame.

As a secondary benefit, I learn a lot. I learn history, current affairs, geography, politics and many other things from doing my wargames research. I learn the how and why of the conduct of war, both political, military, economic and tactical.

I learn about the development and use of technology, and resources. How they shape the ability of a nation to conduct war.

So I play prehistoric, and ancients, and ACW, and WWI, pulp, WWII and the Cold War gone hot and many others. In just about every war bad things happen and some are worse than others.
I will game contemporary events because I can learn from them. Just as the military will simulate different options to defeat their enemies and obtain their objectives.

Giving a time constraint to one side is a way to pressure the players into doing things they might not otherwise do. Two prisoners are eliminated per turn until you capture the compound. It does not require macabre figures, no more than artillery fire requires body parts in a wargame.
Miniature wargames are by nature sanitized and removed from the actual horrors, terrors and evils of real warfare. I will play the cowboys or the Indians; or the cops or the robbers. Wargames are not about the morality, they are about the history and the game. They are about the figures and the terrain, not about who is right or who was wrong.

The research I do for the game will reveal who was a good guy or a bad guy, if either side can claim such title.

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